Tim quietly opened Ava's door and found her asleep. He smiled and sat down on her bed, rubbing her back softly. She frowned and turned to look at him.
"Hi." Ava mumbled, clearly still not happy with her father.
"You want to see something?" Tim asked. Ava thought for a second, then nodded. Tim smiled and turned the light on as he pulled out his cell phone. He went through the digital photo album and stopped on a picture. "That's Nicholas, your little brother."
"Great. Another one." Ava sighed. "They're gonna team up on me now."
"I'll stick out for ya. Tomorrow I'll take you to go see Mommy. How was your party?"
"Horrible. Buster jumped up onto the table, wrecking my cake." Ava said, a frown on her face. "Then he tried to eat Alexander. No one wanted to swim. Uncle Eric burnt the food."
"I'm sorry sweetheart."
"Are you staying home now?"
"Yeah. Mommy told me to come see you and get some sleep."
"Is she okay?"
"Mhmm. Tired, but she's okay. Did you feed Alex?"
"Good. I'll see you in the morning." Tim leaned over and kissed her forehead.
"Daddy, what happened to your hand?"
Tim glanced down at his bandaged hand.
"Er... Mommy got a hold of it."
"Mommy!" Ava rushed into the room and Calleigh looked up from her magazine.
"Hey angel!" she smiled. "Did you have a good birthday?"
"I wanted you there."
"I know honey." Calleigh smiled sadly and stroked Ava's dark curls. "T.J, I'm not gonna bite."
"I saw Dad's hand." he mumbled, hiding behind Tim. Calleigh turned red and beckoned her son over. T.J walked over and hugged his mother.
"Did you guys see Nicky?"
"I didn't want to." Ava said quietly.
"Why not baby?"
"I don't like him."
"Mommy, he ruined my birthday! Now it's his birthday!"
"It's still your birthday." Calleigh said. Tim walked in, a nurse behind him wheeling a bassinet in. "Thanks Elaine."
"You're welcome. He's a cutie. I swear he's the quietest baby in the nursery. Oh and these must be your other two." Elaine said, stopping the bassinet near Calleigh's bed. Tim grinned and walked over, peering down at his son.
"Yeah." Calleigh smiled. "This is T.J and this is Ava."
"I've heard a lot about you two from your mom. So are you happy you got a little brother?"
T.J nodded while Ava just scowled. Elaine gave them a sweet smile.
"I'll see you guys later." and she left the room. Tim gently lifted Nicky into his arms and sat down on Calleigh's bed. T.J wrinkled his nose.
"He looks like Ava."
Tim gave him a look.
"So now he took my looks too?" Ava asked. Tim looked at Calleigh, then at Ava.
"Nooo..." he said slowly. "There is this stuff called DNA and when you guys were born, Mommy's DNA and my DNA got mixed and is now your DNA. When T.J was born, Mommy's genes just came out on top. When you were born Ava, my genes came out on top. Now Nicky's here and my genes came out on top again. Just happens. You can't do anything about it."
"I thought science was for school." T.J whined. "Hey, he's not all you Ava! He's got my eyes."
"Quietest baby my ass." Tim groaned. "I got him."
"Thank you." Calleigh mumbled, burying her head in her pillow. Tim swung his legs over the side of the bed and tiredly wandered into Nicky's room. He stopped in the doorway, seeing Ava standing near his crib.
"Stop crying!" she whispered loudly. "None of us can sleep! Besides you're gonna lose your voice. Well that's what Daddy tells me when I scream all day long. But maybe that's a good thing. Then you'll be quiet."
Tim smiled slightly and leaned against the doorjamb. Ava shifted slightly and Tim saw her put something in the crib.
'Please don't let that be the ferret.' he begged silently.
"I don't understand why everyone makes a fuss over you." Ava said. "You're not even cute. You just came and... ruined my birthday. That wasn't very nice. Daddy and Mommy don't let me ruin T.J's birthday. I'd get a time out for that. But you're Nicky and everyone loves you so I guess it's okay. Here."
She pointed over to what she put in the crib.
"That's my teddy bear. You can rip it to shreds if you want. I won't need it where I'm going." Ava stomped out of the room, not noticing her father. Nicky, surprisingly was now quiet. Tim took the teddy bear out of the crib and followed Ava downstairs. When she had her hand on the doorknob, he finally spoke up.
"And where do you think you're going?"
"You're supposed to be asleep." Ava said, looking at Tim, who was sitting on the stairs.
"Yes and so are you. Where are you going?"
"I'm running away."
"Oh you are." Tim said. "Where are you running away to?"
"I'm only telling you because I know you're not gonna come after me. I'm going to Nana's."
Tim scoffed. Calleigh's mother was known as 'Grandma' while his mother was known as 'Nana.'
"And how, princess, do you expect to get there?"
"Do you know where Nana lives?"
Ava thought about this. She had been there a few times but she didn't know where she was going.
"We live here, in Miami, Florida. Nana lives all the way up in Syracuse. That's in New York." Tim said. "Come here."
Ava stood by the door.
"Ava, I said come here."
She grudgingly walked over to her father and he pulled her onto his lap.
"I gave this to you." Tim said, showing her the teddy bear.
"You'd just take it back and give it to Nicky. I'm... I'm speeding up the... the... in-something."
"Now why would you be running away?" Tim asked.
"No one would have noticed I was gone." Ava muttered. "If they did, they wouldn't care. I'm not welcome anymore."
"Who told you that?"
"No one. I realized it on my own."
"Then you got some more realizing to do." Tim said. "I would be upset if you ran away."
"You'd still have Nicky and T.J."
"But what if I wanted my little girl?"
"Then make Mommy have another baby."
"Mommy said no more. Three are enough. Besides I don't want another daughter. You're all I need."
"You pay attention to Nicky."
"He's a baby sweetheart. I need to pay attention to him. What if Buster was trying to eat him?"
"Good. Let him. Get rid of both of them at the same time!"
"How do you figure?"
"Nicky would get eaten by Buster then Buster would die from in-something."
"Nice plan but it ain't gonna happen." Tim said. "If you run away I... I won't have anyone to have a tea party with."
"Have one with Nicky."
"I don't want to though. I like having tea parties with you."
Ava didn't look to impressed.
"Ava, there are some things I like to do with T.J, like help him with his baseball or play video games. You, I like to have tea parties with and watch Dora and play Candyland. Nicky, he's just a baby so me and Mommy have to pay a bit more attention to him for a little bit until he can do things. When he gets older, I'm gonna like to do things with him too. I love you and Mommy loves you and T.J loves you and Nicky loves you too."
"Yeah. He woke me and Mommy up because he was crying so I went in to quiet him down. You were already in there though and he quieted down when you started talking. If you run away he'll be sad. He wants his big sister. So... will you please stay? At least until morning? I don't want you walking to Syracuse in the dark. Besides, I'm gonna make pancakes tomorrow morning and I know how much you love my pancakes."
Ava thought this over and nodded.
"Okay. You want to go back to sleep then?"
"Can you tuck me in?"
"I'd love to." Tim pushed himself off the stairs and carried Ava up to her room. He laid her down and pulled the blanket over her. Tim handed Ava her teddy bear. "I expect to see him only with you. I bought him especially for you. No one else."
Ava nodded and Tim kissed her forehead.
"I love you."
"I love you too." Ava mumbled. Tim walked over to the door and Ava stopped him. "Daddy?"
"I don't want to run away anymore."
"Well that's fine by me." Tim smiled. "I'll see you in the morning."
"Night Ava." Tim walked out and stopped in Nicky's room. He was still quiet and now fast asleep. Tim smiled slightly. He had a feeling Ava was going to warm up to the baby very fast. Tim went back into his room and sighed, seeing Calleigh awake.
"Your voice travels." she teased.
"Thank you baby." Tim climbed back into bed and wrapped an arm around Calleigh's waist.
"So someone plans on running away?"
"Not anymore. I can change minds very quickly."
"Yes you can..." Calleigh smiled, looking down at her wedding and engagement rings. She looked back up to find Tim watching her with a loving look in his eyes. "What?"
"Just thinking about how very lucky I am that you came back to me." he replied. "If you hadn't, we wouldn't be here."
"No we wouldn't. So I think we can thank me for this marriage."
"I think we can." Tim leaned over and kissed Calleigh softly. She wrapped her arms around his neck, her fingers getting tangled in his hair at the nape of his neck. "But... if I never came out of that coma, then you wouldn't have had anything to come back to."
"I still have a question." Calleigh said as Tim moved on top of her and kissed her neck. "You made up that note right?"
"No. Really have no idea where the ring or the note came from." he said.
"Okay so the next time someone says, 'your husband has wonderful taste,' I'll say he didn't pick out my engagement ring, a ghost brought it to him?"
Tim suddenly stopped and looked up at Calleigh.
"Actually I think you're right. Baby, when I was in the coma I had this... dream I guess."
"You're finally going to tell me about this mysterious dream?" Calleigh asked. "After eight years?"
"Well first I want to have sex." Tim grinned, kissing her again.
"Too bad. Doc said 4-6 weeks. It's only been 2 weeks." Calleigh pushed Tim off her and he moaned, placing a hand over his heart.
"I'm in agony."
"You'll survive. If Eric survived after Maxine had Jamie, you'll survive." Calleigh said. "So this dream..."
"Alright," Tim propped himself up on his elbow. "I woke up and these little monsters came running in. They were screaming at each other, and get this... the little dark haired monster said, 'Daddy, he bit me.' Then this woman next to me woke up and it was you. So of course, the night before I was a bachelor and I was scared out of my mind. It was you next to me and I started yelling and cursing at the monsters to find out... ready? They were our kids, T.J and Ava."
"You're so full of shit." Calleigh laughed.
"I swear to God! So after a while I started hearing voices, which I now know were you guys really talking to me while I was unconscious. I didn't know that this was all a dream though so I thought I was going crazy."
"Was Nicky there too?"
"No. But you did think you were pregnant but you weren't. Then the voices got worse and you wouldn't believe me and thought I wanted a divorce. You went to bed and I came up after you. Then in the dream, I had a dream that I was talking to Brad. But now I don't know if that was a dream or not. He told me that this life that I now had was what was supposed to be if we stayed together. I was being shown what my life could've been like. Then I came out of the coma."
"So... you dreamt this and now this is how we really are? What about Nicky though?"
"I think Nicky wasn't shown because it wasn't sure if we were going to get back together or not."
Calleigh thought this over and nodded.
"You know, I could believe that." she said, then with a grin added, "if you wrote a book."
She laughed and kissed him.
"I love you so much."
"I love you so much too." Tim kissed her back. "So I guess we were just lucky huh?"
"Pretty lucky. Thank God every day that we're together." Calleigh said. "I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have you, T.J, Ava, and Nicky..."
"Yeah I know what you mean. But you know, that was a stupid mistake almost ten years ago. We shouldn't worry about it anymore."
"Nope. Not everyone gets another chance at their life."
"Unless you're Ross and Rachel. They're dating, then they're on a break, then they get married, then they divorced, then they have a kid, then they're dating again..."
"Don't you dare mock my show." Calleigh snapped, trying not to laugh. "I was being serious."
"I know you were." Tim said seriously. "I told Ava I'd make pancakes tomorrow so you're relieved of breakfast duty."
"You're wonderful darling." Calleigh said dramatically.
"I know. Where would the world be without me?" Tim grinned.
"Very lost." Calleigh replied, a serious look on her face. "I would be at least. I was for that year..."
Tim kissed her deeply.
"That was in the past. This is our life now."
"I wouldn't want it any other way."